Field Notes: Cold Horizon and the infamous Shelterwood

Shelterwood tipped me over the edge and into ordering Field Notes for delivery halfway across the world. I have an addictive personality and notepads is the lesser of many, many evils for me.

I didn’t go for the colours subscription though – that feels like too big a commitment just yet. Instead I figured, as the postage would remain the same and they had some left, I would also throw in a couple of Cold Horizons. Don’t they make a pretty pair?

 shelterwood cold horizon


Cold Horizon Review:

I love the colour gradient of these across three books. The covers themselves are very nice to look at, although as people who have had them for a while already have noted, they crack and fade very quickly. Which is actually a positive if you want to look like you use them a lot. This is mine after less than a week:

Cold Horizon Field Notes

From a personal preferences point of view, the graph paper in this is nice to use, especially for making lists. I also find the fainter lines unobtrusive when jotting down any creative ideas. My pocket notebook is my capture system when I’m out and about (for those of you using GTD), so it needs to be able to accommodate all manner of scribbles. The pages are also off-white, with different hints of blue across the three books, which is a nice touch and the kind of attention to detail that people have come to love from Field Notes.

Shelterwood Review:

One of the reasons not to get a colours subscription is if you prefer a particular paper layout. I have found myself with a fondness for graph paper, with plain as a second choice. Lined paper is becoming my least favourite and with the limited edition Field Notes, you get whichever one they decide. Shelterwood comes only with lined paper, and even the amazingly luxurious feel due to its thickness can’t make up for the fact it diminishes (for me) its usability. Having read other reviews, many people who also have this preference feel the same way.

Shelterwood Field Notes


Let’s talk about those covers though. They are without a doubt the most hyped Field Notes ever and I can see why. The design process that has gone into them has made them a thing of beauty to touch and look at. It will be interesting when the next season’s come out and people start doing comparison photographs to see how well the covers have actually stood up to usage. As you can see from the above photograph, there is a definite issue with the covers curling. Most Field Notes editions don’t stay completely flat, but the actual turn up on these is very noticeable. I suspect – and I’m not sure if anyone else can confirm this – that atmospheric humidity can play a significant factor.

The accompanying video is also an amazing piece of marketing. It hooked me in straight away. Sucker.

As for whether or not I will be lured into field notes forever, or if it is just a crush I’m going through, I intend to put together a full review of them vs the moleskine that I have been using for years as a pocket book to see  how they compare.

Maybe it will turn from lust into a more longterm romance. Only time will tell. Will it just be another step towards Field Notes world dominance?

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